As any family in Louisiana may also have believed, a family in another state thought their 77-year-old mother was in good hands, so they decided to leave the hospital emergency room for a short time. The elderly woman’s family left her at the emergency room to go home and for a change of clothes. While they were gone, they received a call to hurry back to the hospital because their mother was dying. Emergency room malpractice may be responsible for their mother’s death.
When they received the call to return to the hospital, they were told that she had been given the wrong medication. There was nothing the hospital could do, she was going to die. That day, a member of the hospital administrative staff told them that “someone” had given her the incorrect medication. The administrator would not identify the person responsible.
For months they attempted to get more information from the hospital, but it was never forthcoming. Finally, a copy of the autopsy report was obtained. It indicated that the elderly, diabetic woman had been given Lidocaine, which is a local anesthetic, through her IV. This caused her to have a seizure. The official cause of death was listed as “acute lidocaine toxicity.”‘
The hospital has said that the nurse that administered the incorrect medication is on suspension pending a decision whether to terminate her employment. However, this may not be enough for the family. The fact that it even happened was bad enough, but then no one would cooperate with their requests to know exactly what happened. Any family that encounters such a situation in Louisiana would have the right to file an emergency room malpractice suit. This may not bring back a lost loved one, but it would help with the financial impact on the family and perhaps even give them a sense of peace.
Source: abc.local.com, “A deadly mistake at Kings County Hospital,” Sarah Wallace, June 12, 2013